Since entering the travel industry in 1984, I have effectively uncovered a simple way to hold on to your valued “partners.” Notice I did not label them “customers” or “clients.” I will explain why shortly.
Having recently been introduced to a shameful statistic, I thought it timely to offer my slant on this subject. I am anxious to see how you swallow this dose of reality: When interviewed, travel agents believe they retain 78% of their paying customers. When interviewed, paying customers cite their loyalty factor closer to 35%.
Let’s not quibble over a percentage point or two. The message is that travel professionals believe their retention rate is a lot higher than it is. Agents are losing customers at an alarming rate, and finding it more difficult to capture the attention of new ones.
In the interest of time I will provide my secret remedy to this unnecessary conundrum. Here goes. Get ready for a “glaring-flash-of the-obvious.” Drum roll please: TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS LIKE DOGS.
Pet owners know exactly what I am talking about. Those of you who have been in the company of “pet owners” know what I am talking about. The rest of you may be thinking I have gone off my rocker. To these agents you can rest easy, as I have no intentions of converting you today. As for the pet people, I need to say no more. You get the picture and are endorsing my position as I send this article off to press. Your beloved pets require love, affection, attention, companionship, praise and on occasion, forgiveness. “Nuff said.”
As for the difference between “customers” and “clients,” a prospect becomes a customer when they buy something. Anybody can sell anything to anybody “once.” The first purchase is “nice.” The second purchase is “meaningful.” But it isn’t until the third transaction that a customer becomes a “partner.”
When you come upon a new prospect, think about treating them like a dog. Then focus on ways you can develop a relationship that will result in three transactions.
That’s my opinion. I’m just saying…
Mike Marchev is recognized for his down-to-earth, street-savvy and honest delivery of useful sales and marketing advice, suggestions, tactics and strategies. For a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled: 11 Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid send Mike an email with the word TRO-11 in the Subject Box. email@example.com
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